I don’t know about you, but this quarantine time has literally had me in the mirror with the many sides of myself, and that seems to be trending…
Have you reached the point of imagining what your quarantine character would be? Maybe you find yourself in John Prine’s ‘Spanish Pipedream’; out in the country with a blown up TV, trying to find Jesus, and watching your children inhale peaches. Perhaps, you’re hunkering down with Neil Young and your rifle collection in a trailer at the edge of town. You’re putting up with the neighbor’s whinny dog, but you’re getting in a hell of a lot of target practice.
I’d like to imagine that my quarantine character would have a flawless, no makeup, golden glow. I’d wear a bullet proof bikini top paired with sexy cargo pants, and boots that were made for anything. You’d see me walking in slow motion to Mick Jagger’s ‘Gotta Get a Grip’ as I got into a slick black ’69 Ford Mustang convertible with Paul Walker at the wheel. We’d ride off into the sunset towards his…I mean OUR secluded island. We’d leave bottles of Champagne and fresh cut flowers in everyone’s mailboxes along the way.
In reality, you can most likely just find me lakeside, in the back of my truck with Ted Lucas’s ‘So Nice to Get Stoned’ and a mason jar of cold brew. I’m wearing a hat to cover my nappy hair juuuuust in case someone spontaneously FaceTimes me. I’ll get real with you and admit that I could also be found in bed, big AND little spooning my pillows with ‘Help Me Make it Through the Night’ on repeat. If you happen to somehow find yourself in the midst of a panic attack, slow breathing paired with force dancing to Babe Rainbow’s ‘Johny Says Stay Cool’ isn’t such a bad idea. Ugh, heard that one from a friend…?
Maybe your personal reality is being masked in the grocery store with Charles Bradley’s ‘Stay Away,’ or perhaps ‘These Days’ you picnic in the park with Nico. Are you wide awake with Willie at 5am; singing hello to your walls….and then to your refrigerator…and then to that cute new spring dress you haven’t gotten a chance to wear yet? By 7am, you’ve found yourself on the couch in experimental makeup singing to your vibrator? You’re perfectly normal.
Whatever your reality or imaginary quarantined self is, like the Byrds say, ‘You Ain’t Going Nowhere’ for a little while, so silence your phone and strap yourself into your ‘Chamber of Reflection’…but maybe leave Mac Demarco out of this one. Let yourself find the best version of you that you’ve ever encountered. After you drop in with yourself to see what condition your condition is in, consider pulling a JJ Cale and check in on an ‘Old Friend.’ We are all in different situations, and it helps to get out (while staying in) of your own perspective for a bit by keeping in touch with others.
Speaking of situations; Nashville was hit with quite the double whammy, huh? I remember listening to ‘Sin City’ during the beginning of this quarantine, and hearing the earthquake as the tornado. Or feeling that Groundhog Day effect of Fred Neil burning his finger on the coffee pot every morning. Many of us, like George Jones, have those ‘Bartender Blues.’ We even lost one of our most beloved musicians. Rest in so much peace, John Prine. That may be ‘The Bag We’re In,’ but we aren’t going to stay here forever. Give yourself a break, but while you’re there, let your mind venture to a constructive manifestation of thoughts, because ‘Tomorrow Never Knows.’
There are many unknowns. Whatever you end up doing with this time, whoever you choose to be, remember: we are all in this together. None of us have experienced anything like this in our lifetime. Your possibilities are endless. Wrestle with your dog, your lover, your vibrator, that sourdough starter, but also wrestle with the different sides of yourself that come out to play. Don’t be afraid to get really close to that magnified mirror and be honest with who you are, have been, or want to be.
Oh, and if you see any members of the Black Lips out there during this pandemic; think twice before holding their ‘Dirty Hands.’ I also hear that Stonewall Jackson washed his hands in muddy water…just sayin.
“Oooh child, things are going to get easier”….and when they do, I hope you find a damn good song as your intro music to walk back into the world to as the new you. And, if you happen to come out of this as anything that closely resembles Paul Walker (kind, simple, handsome, and adventurous)…be sure to come find me!
If you liked this playlist, free to check out the rest of Ashley Boyd’s film, photo, and fashion happenings. We certainly will.